Is Islam bad for world peace
IslamicityMohammed, Adam Smith and the World peace
Europe? Totally Islamic. And that's good! This is the opinion of the US economist Hossein Askari, who has developed an index with which he measures countries according to the extent to which they implement the economic and socio-political guidelines of the Koran. His goal? Nothing less than understanding and reconciliation between Muslims and non-Muslims, less extremism and more justice. Sporty, but also constructive and contagiously optimistic!
"A Benchmark for Islamic Societies - The Seed for Change." (English Only Version)
If the commandments of the Koran were implemented in its original intention, then the world would be a more just and peaceful place. At least that is the conviction of the Iranian-born US economist Hossein Askari, professor at the George Washington University in Washington. He was tired of extremists perpetrating violence in the name of his God. He was fed up with seeing how Islam fell into disrepute in the world. And he wondered why most Islamic countries are so economically and socially lagging behind the West.
The most Islamic countries are in Europe
With his working group, he studied the Koran for guidelines for the economic, political and social nature of a country and developed a benchmark system from it, that is, an index that shows the "Islamicity" of a country - in German this word creation would most likely be called To translate "Islamicity" - measures. Indicators are, for example, the distribution of income among the population, the extent of corruption or access to education.
"The central goals of Islam for any society are the welfare of all of its members and social economic justice."
In doing so, he discovered something astonishing: The teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, according to Askari, are very close to the ideas of Adam Smith, very close to the roots of Western ideas of economy, justice and freedom. If you take the Koran literally, you would have a guideline on how a just, peaceful and prosperous state should be designed.
And so it is not a little surprising that, according to his index, countries like Ireland, Denmark and Luxembourg are at the top as the "most Islamic" countries. Big Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are far behind. No wonder, says Askari, because religion is being misused as an instrument of power and the actual economic and socio-political teachings of the Koran are not implemented there.
"This religion was highjacked right from the beginning almost after the death of the prophet Mohammed. (...) The religion was used as a tool to exploit and rule."
Unsurprisingly, Askari doesn't just make friends with his work. For example, he has to put up with the charge of wanting to legitimize Western hegemony with his index. Askarie replies that he does not want to claim that everything is fine in Western countries; In his home country USA, for example, there is great social injustice that must be remedied.
"This index provides a measure for muslims to question their own rulers. It also provides a window for westeners to understand: This is not Islam."
Hossein Askari was born in Iran but grew up in England. The economist has been teaching at George Washington University in the USA since 1982. He was also active as an expert and consultant, for example in the IMF, for the OECD or the World Bank, but also for Arab countries.
In his English-language lecture "A Benchmark for Islamic Societies - The Seed for Change", which he gave exclusively for the DRadio Wissen lecture hall on January 29, 2015, Askari explains the idea behind his concept and the basis on which he is developing the index and why Islamic countries fail so far in its evaluation.
His goal: He has set himself nothing less than his economic-analytical approach to laying the seeds for a fairer world with less religiously motivated violence, more justice and freedom. He wants to give Muslims an instrument to measure their elites and their states. He wants to give the West an instrument to get to know Islam beyond the power of fanatics and systems of injustice.
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